Smart planter has a screen that displays your plant’s ‘feelings’

[Here’s a clever way to evoke social presence with a houseplant; the short story is from Curbed, where it includes three different images. The Mu Design press kit notes that “Lua also includes a motion sensor that allows its eyes to follow the movements in front of them: it’s like Lua’s looking at you! Give a spark of life to your plants and evolve them into full-fledged pets with Lua!” See the Indiegogo page for more information including pictures and a 1:00 minute video (also available via Vimeo). See the Mu-Design website for information on the company’s first product: “Ulo is a cute surveillance camera, a pet owl interacting with you through eye expressions.” And for more coverage of anthropomorphism see a 2017 story in Quartz. –Matthew]

Smart planter has a screen that displays your plant’s ‘feelings’

Who knew plants could feel so much?

By Liz Stinson
July 17, 2019

Plants are like pets; they can’t talk to you, per se, but they communicate nonetheless. They droop, sprout, and grow in a nonverbal language that almost seems to communicate emotions. For anyone who’s ever wondered, “How does my plant really feel?” finding the answer could get a whole lot easier with Lua, a concept for a smart planter that displays your plant’s emotions (or equivalent of).

Belgian designer Vivien Mueller of Mu Design embedded the anthropomorphic vase with sensors that can measure things like soil moisture, temperature, and light exposure. These sensors are used to trigger 15 different “emotions” on the 2.4 inch LCD screen, for instance: If a plant is cold, the screen will light up with chattering teeth. If it’s too hot, the screen will show beads of sweat. A plant with too much water will look sick, and one with not enough will show it panting with its tongue out.

The designer explains that Lua is connected to an app where people can log what kind of plant they’re caring for, and the planter will automatically calibrate the sensors to the plant’s specific need. It’s a lot like other apps that take the guess work out of plant care, only Lua is a whole lot cuter.

Lua is now raising funds on Indiegogo [over 200% funded at this writing –ML] with a projected ship date of December 2019.

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